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Neuroscience. 2000;96(1):121-9.

The neuronal EF-hand calcium-binding protein visinin-like protein-3 is expressed in cerebellar Purkinje cells and shows a calcium-dependent membrane association.

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Leibniz Institute for Neurobiology, P.O. Box 1860, D-39008, Magdeburg, Germany.


Visinin-like protein-3 is a member of the family of intracellular neuronal calcium sensors belonging to the superfamily of EF-hand proteins. Members of this family are involved in the calcium-dependent regulation of signal transduction cascades. To gain insights into the characteristics of visinin-like protein-3, we have generated specific antibodies against visinin-like protein-3 and determined the developmental and tissue distribution of the protein and its exact cellular and subcellular localization. Expression of visinin-like protein-3 protein appeared late in development mainly in the cerebellum. It is strongly expressed in cerebellar Purkinje cells. The protein expression results were further confirmed by in situ hybridization and compared with hippocalcin messenger RNA localization. Native cerebellar visinin-like protein-3 was shown to bind calcium and to associate in a calcium-dependent manner with membrane fractions during subcellular fractionation. Recombinant wild-type visinin-like protein-3 was shown to be N-terminally myristoylated in transfected cells. The membrane association was strongly reduced for the non-myristoylated mutant of visinin-like protein-3 in transfected cells. These results suggest that visinin-like protein-3, which is mainly expressed in Purkinje cells in vivo, shows a calcium-dependent association with cell membranes which is mediated by a calcium-myristoyl switch.

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